A prototype structure has been completed and now functions as an amphibious medical clinic. The project will continue to grow as financial resources allow. The amphibious dwellings concept received much exposure after the Holcim Awards competition. With the support of his friends and colleagues project architect Akin Afolayan successfully launched the first prototype for an amphibious dwelling in mid-2010, which is now a functioning medical clinic/community center. A medical team volunteered to provide free medical services.
The design uses a modular construction to enable further expansion and environmental enhancements in the future. The project concept generated the now fully-functional not-for-profit organization Hope Floats Initiative, which is dedicated to delivering innovative design solutions to informal settlements. The implementation phase has started sooner than was first anticipated, particularly due to the support of partner organizations: Architecture for Humanity, Community Development Center of Atlanta and Niles Bolton Associates.
The prototype was constructed by members of the Atlanta Chapter of Architecture for Humanity and a group of volunteer local architects including Project Managers Akin Afolayan and Andy Beckham joined by Trevor Walker and Joe Sinclair of Niles Bolton Associates, Leon Williams of Collins Cooper Carusi, Natasha Afolayan, Jamie Francis, Andrew Telker, Luther Lotz and Paulita Bennet of Community Design Center of Atlanta.
The team received a great deal of information and field reports by PJ Carew Consulting based in South Africa on types of composting toilets and portable photovoltaic systems. The team members continually refined the original design as availability of materials and funding inevitably impacted upon the build. The initial design consists of three 4m x 4m modules joined together to form a floating platform 4m wide and 16m long. The modularity allows for easy disassembly and shipping to the site, located in Lagos, Nigeria. The design also allows for addition of future modules as need and financial resources allow. The easy replication of the design using local materials and labor creates opportunities for employment and cottage industries as the prototype moves into production to service other areas with a need for health care.
The amphibious clinic is an optimal response to the utilization of non-usable space. The design incorporates a strong ecological stance through the environmental add-ons including rainwater catchment, solar still, portable PV panels, composting toilets, natural ventilation, day-lighting and the use of local materials. The appealing aesthetics and high performance design can act as a catalyst for local pride and inspiration in the community. The types of materials and components in the floating clinic encourage opportunities for cottage industries to replicate, innovate, and create markets in floating assemblies and structures.
The exciting potential of such a project hinges on the goodwill of dedicated physicians willing to donate their time and services. Dr. Simeon Afolayan, a former Permanent Secretary from Osun State in Nigeria instituted a Mobile Surgery program that resulted in over 3000 successful operations. This project plans to build on the past success of Dr. Afolayan and expand the program to targeted areas of greatest need. He has stated, “This is an opportunity to deliver much needed health care exactly where it is most needed. The ability to target areas with little or no public health facilities through the use of inexpensive mobile amphibious clinics allows direct access to care by a large number of people who otherwise would receive no treatment.”
The innovative and striking idea of this project envisages moving the inhabitants of the traditional, neglected squatter settlements at the borders of the cities to floating homes on unused coastal areas. Such amphibious dwellings shall be erected on floating platforms and built with low- or no-cost available materials usually considered as trash, such as recycled wood from construction sites, plastic foils, used sheet metal, reeds and thatch.
In order to assure minimum sanitation, the dwellings will be equipped with rainwater catchment, purification units, and dry compost toilets. These dwellings on the otherwise abandoned and contaminated coastal strips will be legal, cheap and easy to maintain. Since the dwellings are not too far away from the city center, they provide multiple opportunities for day labor and small businesses. This project has been commended due to its fresh and simple approach to a globally-present problem in urban areas. The project was winner of the Holcim Awards “Next Generation” 1st prize 2008 for Africa Middle East.See more
A concept for amphibious dwellings which use low-lying and flood prone areas in informal settlements of Lagos to provide safe housing close to residents’ source of income was winner of a “Next Generation” 1st prize for Africa Middle East. The project designed by American-resident Nigerian architect Akinlabi Afolayan was selected for its fresh approach to improving squatter settlements.Sustainable construction projects applauded across Africa Middle East »
The innovative and striking idea of this project envisages moving the inhabitants of the traditional, neglected squatter settlements at the borders of the cities to ﬂoating homes on unused coastal areas. Such amphibious dwellings shall be erected on ﬂoating platforms and built with low- or no-cost available materials usually considered as trash, such as recycled wood from construction sites, plastic foils, used sheet metal, reeds and thatch. In order to assure minimum sanitation, the dwellings will be equipped with rainwater catchment, puriﬁcation units, and dry compost toilets.
Amphibious dwellings in informal settlements is a striking concept to move squatters into floating homes on unused coastal areas closer to their source of income. Houses out of “found” materials, at low or no-cost, are constructed on buoyant platforms. Dwellings are equipped with rainwater collectors, purification units and dry composting toilets to assure minimum sanitation.Download project entry poster (PDF, 2.08 MB) »
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